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Act 1 Scene 5 Of William Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet

1525 words - 6 pages

Act 1 Scene 5 of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

Love, hate, urgency, annoyance, anger, light-heartedness,
self-importance, confusion and despair are the main feelings conveyed
in Act 1 Scene 5. All of these in turn convey dramatic impact in a
variety of ways, and are portrayed using a variety of language types
and structures, ranging from the central purpose of this theme, Romeo
and Juliet's lovestruck sonnets, complete with many rich, exotic
metaphors, similies and comparisons, to Capulet's self-important
reminisces and orders, contrasted with Tybalt's offence-taking,
fault-finding black-and-white hate for all things Montague, and his
subsequent anger at being denied a brawl, and having his
self-importance diminished by Capulet's scolding remarks. This complex
variety of emotions throws the audience's feelings into chaos, the
underlying prefigurative irony signalling the beginning of the end for
Romeo and Juliet despite the humour, happiness and love peppered
through the scene, and it is Shakespeare's masterful use of juxtaposed
contrasting themes and emotions that makes Romeo and Juliet the legend
that it is.

The first section of the scene features the servingmen setting the
party scene by laughing and joking as they prepare for it. Even at
this early stage, a variety of feelings are introduced, light-hearted
humour, urgency, and shades of comedy annoyance and squabbling between
the servingmen. Visual humour and hurriedness (Such as first
Servingman tripping over a join-stool before line 5, and other
haste-induced mistakes) combined with slick, fast rhyming ("…looked
for and called for, asked for and sought for…") backed up by
unintelligent puns and proverbs ("When good manners shall lie…'tis a
foul thing") serve to banish the low note caused by Romeo's ominous
sonnet to finish Scene 4, and restore good humour. The servingmen and
other lower classes are regularly used by Shakespeare to inject humour
into serious moments in the play to create contrast, such as Sampson
and Gregory in Act 1 Scene 1, as to upper-class audiences this would
seem accurate: stupid, bumbling, lewd bachelors.

Capulet, the host of the party, is anxious that nothing should go
wrong at his party should it count against him in the 'status battle'
between the Capulets and Montagues. He displays light-hearted jokes,
("…she I'll swear hath corns…") exemplary politeness, ("Welcome,
gentlemen!") And puts many to shame with his dancing skills, telling
the other men to dance "More light". He sees himself as the figurehead
of the party, and thinks that if anything goes wrong it will be his
fault. As the scene goes on, however, Capulet has to calm Tybalt to
keep the party from turning into chaos. In this section of the scene,
Capulet displays some reason, ("…a virtuous and well-governed...

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